Girls E-Mentorship, an organization dedicated to empowering young women to reach their fullest potential
VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 14, 2022 / Girls E-Mentorship is a valuable program, founded, led and made up of dedicated women who believe that every girl deserves equal opportunity to develop skills, pursue higher education, build successful career paths and attain productive employment.
Founded in 2012 from the vision that “all women should have the opportunity to succeed despite the barriers they’ve faced,” their mission is to offer research-based mentorship programs for high school girls facing socioeconomic barriers, which will enable them to build their professional skills and achieve their academic and career potential.
When Founder of GEM Rochelle de Goias-Jackman was in graduate school, she didn’t have access to a mentor that could help her navigate her educational journey or impart helpful wisdom and career advice.
As a woman she faced many barriers, but worked hard to build her career on her own. Although she is an experienced senior political advisor and consultant, and has worked with organizations such as The United Nations, Bloomberg, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the absence of female mentors in the workforce was always at the back of her mind.
Instead of letting this unfortunate phenomenon get her down, de Goias-Jackman made it her mission to connect young, marginalized girls to a network of leaders who are keen to share their knowledge and empower future generations. Today she is not only the Founder and Chair of the Board of a changemaking non-profit that’s transformed countless lives, but she is an inspiration who is equipping young people with the skills they need to be successful. Her organization, Girls E-Mentorship (GEM), is a female career oriented charity, and it’s paving the way for diversity, inclusion, and equality in the workforce, one mentorship at a time.
It’s quite different from the world de Goias-Jackman was acquainted with in her graduate program.
Today, GEM is at the forefront of change, as it offers a transformative experience that empowers young girls with the skills and social capital they need to succeed.
“I remember being in an important meeting and I was the only woman there, and someone looked at me and said, ‘Oh, can you grab everybody coffee?’ Everyone chuckled. I was probably one of the more educated people in that room and I had a good amount of experience,” de Goias-Jackman says. “I felt so insignificant and I didn’t want this to happen to the next generation. I wanted this to change,” she continues.
And so with that in mind, and a goal to support the needs of marginalized high school girls, de Goias-Jackman created GEM in 2012. She and her team of consultants, educators, social workers, and policymakers worked collaboratively with a group of high school students from Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park, (two high priority neighborhoods in Toronto) to design the initial GEM program. Ten years later, those alumni are doing fantastic in the workforce, and some are even itching to be a part of the program as mentors to pass on the skills that they’ve learned and benefitted from. “These are amazing young women who want to stay involved. They want to help us improve and help us expand. You can’t get any better than that, right?”
Being a mentor is a rewarding experience that not only impacts the lives of young women as they embark on their professional and educational journey’s, but the lives of the mentor’s as well. Many have gained valuable insight, made connections, and created unforgettable memories as a result of the program.
De Goias-Jackman recalls that the only form of mentorship she received along the way was from men, and that’s exactly what inspired her to make a change. “I met some fantastic men who had a cup of coffee with me and talked to me about how to build my career. But I couldn’t get the time or the same attention from women, and that’s why I wanted to build and facilitate a mentorship culture for women,” she says.
GEM is accepting hundreds of girls into the program, who are individually matched to a mentor based on multiple factors such as similar career interests, compatible personalities, and location. It is a customized program that is designed to individually support each mentee, while teaching them professional skills and 21st century skills that can benefit them in the future. In order to make the expansion happen, the organization needs mentors that are willing to be a part of the process. “Because of recent funding we are doubling our program over the next few years but we need more mentor volunteers, women who want to make a real impact on the next generation,” de Goias-Jackman says.
The GEM community is passionate about building more inclusive societies and advancing inclusive economic growth, and one of the ways it has done so is through its scholarships. This year, the organization is allocating $130,000 worth of scholarships to support mentees in their educational and leadership pursuits. “We’re a registered charity. And our mission is to help disadvantaged young women who have limited opportunities. Mentees may face financial barriers, racial inequality, they might be newcomers to the country, but we want to see all young women succeed,” de Goias-Jackman states.
What’s most beautiful about GEM is that although de Goias-Jackman did not have a female mentor, she has become a mentor for hundreds of people, and truly impacted the lives of young women who would otherwise not have had access to such helpful and life changing resources, and she is now inspiring other women to do the same.
“If we want to see more women in senior management positions and C-suite positions, if we want to see more women at the board table and more diverse women at the table, it’s important that we mentor the younger generation.” she says.
De Goias-Jackman is an inspiring woman, and her leadership has supported countless young people across the Greater Toronto Area, and allowed them to grow beyond the barriers that previously impeded their success.
If GEM has ignited a passion in your heart to empower young women to be able to reach their full potential, visit the organization’s website to learn more about becoming a mentor, and follow along as de Goias-Jackman’s leadership reaches across Ontario, and soon enough, the rest of Canada.
SOURCE: Girls E-Mentorship
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